I need to do some research in Government, Political Science, and/or Public Policy. Where do I start?


HOLLIS, Academic Search Premier (Harvard login), and other multidisciplinary resources are good places to begin exploring your topic. To improve your search results, try adding:

  • Geographic terms (Europe, China)
  • Institution or Organization terms (United Nations, North Atlantic Treat Organization, Republican Party)
  • Time period terms (Iraq War 2003-2011, U.S. Politics and government 1993-2001, War on Terrorism 2001-2009, )
  • Topic terms (economic policy, domestic policy, health policy)


Kathleen Sheehan, the FAS library liaison for Government, is available to support researchers via email or in-person consultation.

Kathleen’s Government: A Guide to  Research Resources points to many helpful resources for policy research. The Kennedy School Library has created several research guides tailored to specific policy topics.


There are many databases for doing policy research. Please visit the research guides listed above for a full selection of resources.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (Harvard login) and PAIS (Harvard login) are two major databases for policy scholarship.

Policyfile (Harvard login) is a database of reports, papers and documents on U.S. foreign and domestic policy, from research institutes and agencies.

Think Tank Search is a Google Custom Search created by the Kennedy School Library that searches across the websites of more than 590 think tanks and research centers.


I need to do some research with Data and/or Government Documents. Where should I start?

I need to do some research in Law. Where do I start?

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Talk to a librarian for advice on defining your topic, developing your research strategy, and locating and using sources. Make an appointment now.

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